It’s positive and encouraging to see a number of studies reporting strong performance indicators in hotel spas recently, with some types posting record revenues.
The latest research from hotel advisory firm CBRE shows that spa is now one of the top performing departments in US hotels (see p32). Its 2019 Trends in the Hotel Spa Industry found that while total hotel revenue in its sample of 159 hotels increased by 3.8 per cent, spa departments grew by 4.8 per cent. The greatest rise occurred in hotels with less than 200 rooms which had a revenue jump of 13.3 per cent.
At the same time, HVS consulting has revealed that in the US, on average, “spa and wellness departments run profitably and can contribute significantly to a hotel’s bottom line”. In its second annual 2019 HVS Performance Report: Spa Department, it found that treatment rooms in luxury hotels generate US$257k in revenue a year – more than double the average for upper-upscale hotels (see p28).
Both of these reports follow the 20th edition of ISPA’s US Spa Industry Study which shows that facilities across the US generate US$18.3bn in revenue and that all key financial indicators in spas have risen steadily over the last nine years.
After years of having to justify their viability, now is the time for spas to shine. And their position can be further elevated by proving their worth when it comes to a new, as yet unmeasured, KPI – ‘return on wellness’.
With the booming trend of wellness extending beyond spas into all hotel departments, global corporations are grappling with putting a value on what wellness adds to the bottom line. What is an individual’s wellness level before and after a stay/experience and how does this impact on customer loyalty, for example, or other spending patterns?
No one has cracked the code for this yet and spas – a linchpin of wellbeing in hotels – are the perfect testbed for first defining and then measuring the return on wellness for the wider hotel business.